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Podemos' conditions for PSOE government: shorter working hours and guaranteed minimum income
By thinkSPAIN Team Fri, May 31, 2019
ACTING president Pedro Sánchez has rejected the idea of a PSOE-Podemos coalition, but has opened the door to the latter's holding ministerial roles on an 'independent' basis.
Podemos' leader Pablo Iglesias has set out a battery of requests which he will set as a condition of his support for Sánchez, including abolishing the 2012 Labour Reform in order to 'create a job market based upon permanent employment positions', a minimum income for everyone, working or not, of €600 a month, and the working week cut from 40 to 34 hours, without any reduction in salary.
Iglesias proposed these measures in a meeting with business owners in Catalunya, arguing that they would be 'good for Spain, for companies and for Catalunya'.
He detailed all his party's proposals in the fields of economy and tax, which include a reduction on company profit tax for firms with a turnover of less than €1 million from 25% down to 23%, increasing income tax for those earning €100,000 a year or more, a wealth tax, a tax on the banks, and several environmental policies.
Iglesias said during the talk that he felt a coalition between the PSOE, or socialists, led by Pedro Sánchez, and centre-right Ciudadanos, would be a 'betrayal' of those who voted for the socialists in the April 28 elections: “It's not a good idea to lose consistency when establishing alliances, and it could be considered a lack of respect towards the electorate,” Iglesias believes.
As for his party running ministries on an indcependent basis, Iglesias says this is 'the least of his worries'.
“It's not about demanding seats here and there. It's about committing yourself to the need for reform, and that's what we want to push.
“Our position in government is modest, with only 42 seats, but large enough to bring about change.”
He cited two left-wing coalition regional governments which he considers have worked very well – that of the socialists and Compromís in the Valencia region, and with the socialists and Podemos in the Balearic Islands.
Political stability and policies for the long term are key, Iglesias argues.
Minister for the economy Nadia Calviño supported this view, pointing out that the Labour Reforms of 2010, by former socialist president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and in 2012, by ex-PP president Mariano Rajoy, were drawn up 'in the name of creating employment and reducing temporary jobs', but that 'in the end, they did not serve any of the aims they proposed'.
She wants to limit temporary job contracts to six-month versions only, and turn as many temporary contracts as possible into permanent ones.
This could be challenging, given the high amount of seasonal work in Spain, particularly in tourist hotspots and in agriculture.
Also, certain industries are only able to offer temporary contracts: a job as an extra on a film or serial may only be for a day or two.
But in areas of high tourism, up to 99% of new jobs offered are temporary only, mostly for the summer or specific holiday periods such as Christmas and Easter, local statistics in these parts of the country show.
Pedro Sánchez gained 123 seats in the April 28 general election out of 351, leaving him 53 short of the required majority of 176.
Even if the right-wing PP joined forces with Ciudadanos and far-right Vox, it would not give them enough seats to oust Sánchez.
Podemos and the PSOE combined would give 165 seats, then Sánchez would either need to bring some of the independent regional parties on board, or secure their 'yes' votes in his investiture ceremony.
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